Ben Carson, who lives in West Palm Beach, today launched a presidential exploratory committee - making him the first candidate to formally enter the 2016 campaign.
Waiting in the wings are fellow Floridians Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee. Bush is all but in. Huckabee remains a wannabee. And Rubio seems to be inching closer to a run.
You be the judge.
See Carson's announcement below.
Over the course of thousands of operations as the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I have spent most of my adult life caring for very ill children. As co-founder of the non-profit Carson Scholars Fund, my wife Candy and I have spent years helping children find their own inspiration to reach their full, God-given potential.
In many ways, that is the duty of my generation – to do everything in our power to give the next generation the opportunity to achieve greatness.
I believe that with hard work and determined leadership, greatness is within our grasp. America was founded on the self-evident truth that we as a nation have the right to think big and pursue happiness.
It is this core principle that allowed me, a young boy, raised in Detroit by a single, illiterate but determined mother, to overcome poverty, bad grades, and low self-esteem to become one of the world’s leading physicians.
I’ve decided to explore a potential run for the office of President because I believe my values, life experience, and willingness to speak the truth and seek solutions, prepares me well to lead our nation toward more prosperity, security, and freedom for every American.
As I travel around the country to listen, learn and determine whether or not this is a race I can win, your financial support during the next two months will be extremely helpful.
To make a secure contribution to my exploratory committee now, please go here.
I look forward to working with you, and the rest of our fellow citizens to restore the promise of America.
Thank you, and God Bless America.